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MrZarniwoop

Vice on Best Electronics

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Great article, and a good guide if you want to order from best. I do really hope people won’t start harassing Bradley now, in my experience he has been nothing but a great person and he probably has more than enough stuff to deal with already. 

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I read it.  Not sure I agree with the negative stuff said about him from the perspective of others who got blacklisted or whatever.  Always two sides to a story and I haven't heard his.  Anyways, he's always been nice and super helpful to me and my business throughout the years.  :)

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I am disappointed that this article is very one-sided and doesn't interview people whom had much different interactions with Bradley/Best. Yes, buying from him is "different" than people's expectations these days, but if you understand that and work with Bradley, it can be a very pleasant experience. I for one, have order lots of items from Best, and there are times Bradley would tell me I would need to break up that order over a period of months (ordering ICs and motherboards for my Atari Portable project), and so that's what I would do. The results? He would respond right away to emails, I would pay right away, and the next day the package would be in the mail, well packed and perfect when it arrived.

 

I understand that other's might have had different experiences, but I don't believe I am one of the few that have had great results.

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Yes, never had a bad experience. TBF, the author of this article offered to interview Bradley, but, well, anyone who's called recently can imagine how much time he has for that. He's not Amazon, he's an independent businessman trying to meet a ridiculous level of demand, all the while charging reasonable prices for things others are gouging enthusiasts for on eBay, and everything always arrives in pristine condition. People's expectations need to change, not Bradley, IMHO.

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This article is practically a hit piece. It is very one-sided and comes across as having been written by an unsatisfied customer or some impatient Gen-Z with unreasonable expectations. It only serves as a reminder of how Amazon and eBay have really spoiled a lot of online shoppers. If nothing else, the writer could have linked to the Best feedback page right here on AA. 

 

I myself have had nothing but excellent buying experiences from Best. If anything, I actually enjoy and appreciate that he still handles orders the way they originally were done online back in the day, and that the website is kept to simple text, hypertext, and a few images. 

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I think our community has amplified both the good and bad Best experiences to the point that an article like this is hard to take objectively.

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I actually placed an order with Best earlier today. Called, provided my customer number and paid for my items, all without issue.   

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4 hours ago, Blazing Lazers said:

It only serves as a reminder of how Amazon and eBay have really spoiled a lot of online shoppers.

I think some misunderstandings arise when a customer may not realize the community service that Best Electronics (or the AtariAge Store, for that matter) provides. It's not always obvious, and a little hard to explain if you aren't in the community. But once one understands that, you're just thankful that Bradley still does what he does. We all benefit from his life's work.

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9 hours ago, selgus said:

I am disappointed that this article is very one-sided and doesn't interview people whom had much different interactions with Bradley/Best. Yes, buying from him is "different" than people's expectations these days, but if you understand that and work with Bradley, it can be a very pleasant experience. I for one, have order lots of items from Best, and there are times Bradley would tell me I would need to break up that order over a period of months (ordering ICs and motherboards for my Atari Portable project), and so that's what I would do. The results? He would respond right away to emails, I would pay right away, and the next day the package would be in the mail, well packed and perfect when it arrived.

 

I understand that other's might have had different experiences, but I don't believe I am one of the few that have had great results.


I noticed this in the article as well, bringing up his limiting order size as a negative.

I would expect this is intentionally done so that the maximum number of people can get always get the parts they need to service their personal systems. He likely does not want to see someone scooping up the entire supply of specific parts and then immediately 'flipping' them on eBay or Amazon for an exorbitant amount.

His making sure the people genuinely interested in keeping their vintage Atari's running can get parts and accessories for their various systems, and for a very reasonable price is a big plus in my book.

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Posted (edited)

Never bought from Best. Perhaps I can be more objective?

 

The article does point out that he’s done a good thing by keeping all those parts, developing new parts, etc. Seems to paint him as a selfish monopolist tho, which isn’t nice, even if the writer points out it’s an accidental monopoly.

 

Quote

 He would rather lose a sale than suffer someone who hasn’t learned the rules.

I sometimes wish I could afford to do the same. Makes me wonder if the writer’s ever worked in retail of customer service; sometimes the sale doesn’t seem to be worth the stress.

 

Wonder where he gets the Atari tape. Doesn’t packing tape dry out?

 

He’s bought 8,000 pallets over the years, most from Atari Corp’s closure...how big is that warehouse? 8000 pallets would take up over 120,000 square feet, assuming each pallet is 4x4.

Edited by pacman000
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13 hours ago, pacman000 said:

Wonder where he gets the Atari tape. Doesn’t packing tape dry out?

It’s the kind of packing tape that gets coated with hot glue with a special machine when being applied.

 

I have had nothing but good experiences the few times I have ordered. But I go into every interaction understanding that he owes me nothing and I need him a lot more than he needs me.
 

A lot of the people interviewed didn’t seem to be angry or negative about it, just wry. I was pleasantly surprised by how little entitlement was on display.

 

It’s a great point that he and the other warehousers have done a lot to prevent price gouging and profiteering. (Although… *looks at Video 61’s prices*… hmmm.)

 

I am afraid of an article like this wrecking his ability to do business and potentially shutting down an essential service. I hope that doesn’t happen.

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20 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

I am afraid of an article like this wrecking his ability to do business and potentially shutting down an essential service. I hope that doesn’t happen.

 

Well, he owns the stuff, right?  What's anyone going to do about it?  That's kind of the point of the article.  I suppose you could run to the D&D rulebook and try to find some esoteric fig leaf to sue him with, but what would be the point?  Now he's broke and can't fill orders and nobody gets anything.  

 

All I can say is, Brad, if you're reading this, I bought an ST monitor from you once, and I think a few other thinga at the time.  Went smoothly as far as I remember.  I didn't intend to leave you hanging on that last order I tried to place; I just never received any e-mail back.  Can you take me off the naughty list if I'm on it?

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I’m not talking about legal anything, I’m talking about overwhelming him with interest/abuse and making him decide it’s not worth it anymore. I hope that doesn’t happen.

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I thought the article was well written, and entertaining.  It might come off as unfair, as there is a lot of time spent talking about the unwritten rules and blacklisting; but that's the gist of the article - that Bradley is a Dragon of terrific, wanted, beautiful things and he has his own way of going about selling them.  I love Best and have had a couple of transactions only, but they've been great.  Emailed them in, got personal and friendly responses, got the stuff.  And I LOVED how they were packed and respect that this is not a common business.  I would shop here over a big box situation any time.

He's the Dragon of Atari, he's got the treasure under the mountain, he sells his things with love...and with a fiery wrath for those who break the rules. :)

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37 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

I’m not talking about legal anything, I’m talking about overwhelming him with interest/abuse and making him decide it’s not worth it anymore. I hope that doesn’t happen.

I don't think he spends much time on any of the forums, at least that's what he said during this ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast interview back in 2014. Its not like he needs to seek us out.

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57 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

I’m not talking about legal anything, I’m talking about overwhelming him with interest/abuse and making him decide it’s not worth it anymore. I hope that doesn’t happen.

 

Yeah, that's a non-zero possibility, I suppose, but I struggle to imagine the guy who's going to care passionately about the situation enough to give him a hard time who also doesn't already know what's going on.  Or, more accurately, I can imagine the guy, but not enough copies of the guy to create a real problem.

 

That warehouse can't be cheap to maintain, so if he did call it quits, one would think he would be able to find a buyer, if even for pennies on the dollar, rather than just allowing it to sit and rot.  I think the real anxiety is would that prospective person be as good a custodian of all these things?  Probably not, and for me, that would have made for a more interesting story.

 

Sure, the guy is almost the literal definition of a troll, at least if some of the horror stories about him are to be believed.  That's one way of looking at it.  Then again, he's been a de facto caretaker of a thing that 99% of the world couldn't give less of a shit about, but means a lot to that 1%, and hopefully still will for years to come.  Maybe a little gratitude is in order.

 

The real meta story is, as all these machines age, so do the enthusiasts.  None of us are getting any younger, and as the custodians of the "scene" thin out through attrition, you wonder how it will continue on into future generations.  If it does.  I hope it does, anyway.

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After reading the article, I'm reminded about the soup nazi episode from Seinfeld... 😂

 

5e0jtk.jpg

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On 6/16/2021 at 10:57 AM, cubanismo said:

Yes, never had a bad experience. TBF, the author of this article offered to interview Bradley, but, well, anyone who's called recently can imagine how much time he has for that. He's not Amazon, he's an independent businessman trying to meet a ridiculous level of demand, all the while charging reasonable prices for things others are gouging enthusiasts for on eBay, and everything always arrives in pristine condition. People's expectations need to change, not Bradley, IMHO.

I wouldn't respond to interview request either.   For one Vice is click-bait central,  but also my experience with journalists is they aren't actually looking for your perspective.   Their story is already written by the time they contact you and they are just looking for quotes to add to it, and whatever you tell them, they are likely to just take part of what you said and paste it in the story somewhat out of context.

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32 minutes ago, zzip said:

I wouldn't respond to interview request either.   For one Vice is click-bait central,  but also my experience with journalists is they aren't actually looking for your perspective.   Their story is already written by the time they contact you and they are just looking for quotes to add to it, and whatever you tell them, they are likely to just take part of what you said and paste it in the story somewhat out of context.

the author approached me as well.  I refuse to talk to ANY media these days.  As you said, the story has already been written by the time they ask for your opinion.  I told him the same.  Given what has happened in the world, I ask him why on Earth would anyone provide you an interview or feedback.  DBM.

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Not to keep this thread alive, but actually I am quite amazed by Bradley and how well he does run his business. At least from my orders, which have been random ICs, some misc plastic items, populated PCS and other random bits.. The next day after ordered and paid for, the box has been shipped via Priority USPS Mail. That must be a pretty large warehouse but must be well organized to be able to pull those items, package them up (he ships the ICs in foam sections, inside anti-static bags) and shipped out. All within a day or two.

 

I totally understand there have been some people who had very different experiences and seem to be extremely vocal about it.. but I honestly feel we are not hearing the voice of the majority. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong.

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So, the main takeaway for people new to Best is: Don't order too much, don't order too little, don't complain, don't ask a lot of questions, be at least $50 worth but only something like 3 parts at most, and only one of a thing. If you get on the blacklist, it is for life, and you'll NEVER get anything that is stuck behind this otherwise great establishment until its owner passes on. Maybe you can convince a friend to try to order something for you. Otherwise, don't ask questions, but you might have some after looking at the basically terrible web site. :)  Ask AtariAge instead. 

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41 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

So, the main takeaway for people new to Best is: Don't order too much, don't order too little, don't complain, don't ask a lot of questions, be at least $50 worth but only something like 3 parts at most, and only one of a thing. If you get on the blacklist, it is for life, and you'll NEVER get anything that is stuck behind this otherwise great establishment until its owner passes on. Maybe you can convince a friend to try to order something for you. Otherwise, don't ask questions, but you might have some after looking at the basically terrible web site. :)  Ask AtariAge instead. 

Don't forget he no longer accepts paypal!

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